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Category Archives: Grounding & Protection

Grounding & Protection

Lightning Strikes


In Canada, lightning flashes occur about 2.34 million times a year; with the highest levels of concentration during the summer months.

While most lightning on earth is ground-to-cloud,  recent research has identified that the majority of lightning events to tall structures, such as wind turbines, occur in the presents of ground-to-cloud leaders – upward lightning.  More importantly, the majority of ground-to-cloud leaders transpire following a sudden change in electric field initiated by either cloud-to-cloud, cloud-to-air or cloud-to-ground discharges.

Since the late 1990’s, the utility grade wind turbine sector has identified lightening events as a significant risk factor.  Today, many standards and guidelines (such as IEC 61400-24:2010) exist; however, the majority of lightning-protection-system standards and guidelines utilized by the wind turbine industry do not address upward moving lightning.


Grounding & Protection

Safe Grounding in Substations


How to guard utility personnel from shock hazards


In the power industry, safety is just as important a function as performance. Safety considerations, parameters, and methods of implementation are an integral part of any electrical system. A most important element is the grounding system. This system performs several functions, not the least of which is safety. Substations are active in fault clearance, and personnel working in and around them, as well as pedestrians passing in the vicinity, need to be protected. When a fault condition occurs, the grounding electrode (grid) must be sufficient to equalize potentials both in and around the substation. Read more

Grounding & Protection

Flame-Resistant Clothing Misconceptions


Misconceptions about using flame-resistant clothing

BY DAN BONELLI, Cintas Corporation

According to Michael Hyland, chair of the National Electrical Safety Code (NESC) and vice president of engineering services with the American Public Power Association, a 1970s electrical utility commercial depicted a worker sporting a gold necklace and polyester clothing. Hyland notes that today, that type of dress would be unthinkable, as it poses a huge risk to residential, commercial, and industrial electricians.

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Grounding & Protection

Safety Awareness Rules for Utilities


Utilities ready for Ontario health and safety awareness training

BY PHILL FELTHAM, Editor-in-Chief
Electricity Today Magazine

The Government of Ontario has implemented new regulations that require mandatory basic occupational health and safety training. The new regulations, “Occupational Health and Safety Awareness and Training”, under the province’s Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), set out a number of requirements.

First, the regulation sets out the minimum content necessary for both worker and supervisor awareness training programs. For example, workers and supervisory must be trained on their rights and duties under the OHSA as well as know the role of joint health and safety committees and representatives. In addition, content must be provided on common workplace hazards and occupational illnesses.

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